EDP Norfolk - - Walk -

AThe cas­tle was founded soon af­ter the Nor­man con­quest of 1066 by Wil­liam de Warenne and was ini­tially a stone ‘coun­try house’. Dur­ing the first half of the 12th-cen­tury, how­ever, more dis­turbed con­di­tions prompted its pro­gres­sive con­ver­sion into a strong keep, fur­ther de­fended by stone walls and an im­mense sys­tem of ditched earth­works.

Still im­pres­sively vis­i­ble, these are per­haps the finest vil­lage earth­works in Eng­land. Free en­try, open all year.

BCas­tle Acre Pri­ory was in­spired by the monastery at Cluny in France and was home to a com­mu­nity of monks un­til 1537, when Henry VIII dis­banded all monas­tic houses. The pri­ory’s ru­ins span seven cen­turies and in­clude a beau­ti­ful 12th-cen­tury church with an elab­o­rately dec­o­rated west front, still ris­ing to its full height, a 15th-cen­tury gate­house and a porch, and prior’s lodg­ing still fit to live in.

The recre­ated herb gar­den sit­u­ated next to the vis­i­tor cen­tre grows herbs that the monks would have used for medic­i­nal, strew­ing, culi­nary and dec­o­ra­tive pur­poses. Visit english-her­itage.org.uk for open­ing times and prices.

CPed­dars Way fol­lows a Ro­man road built along the line of an even older track­way. The name, Ped­dars Way, is said to be de­rived from the Latin ‘pedester’, which means ‘on foot’. The trail starts in the Brecks, a unique area of for­est, heath and low river val­leys, run­ning north from Knet­tishall Heath in Suf­folk, for 46 miles through chang­ing coun­try­side to the north Nor­folk coast near Hun­stan­ton.

DNar Val­ley Way is a 33-mile-long walk­ing trail me­an­der­ing through con­trast­ing land­scapes be­tween the me­dieval town of King’s Lynn and the Farm and Work­house mu­seum in Gressen­hall.

The route fol­lows quiet tracks and lanes, cross­ing farm­land and pass­ing through woods, mead­ows and com­mons. The River Nar is never far away, with long stretches of river­side path to en­joy.

Open farm­land around Mile­ham con­trasts with the ex­pan­sive low­land panora­mas near King’s Lynn, and the in­ti­mate wood­land glades found at West Acre and Nar­bor­ough.

BE­LOW: The cas­tle

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